Friday, December 15, 2006

Onion Cellar reviews coming in.

It looks as if The Onion Cellar, the collaboration between the ART and the Dresden Dolls, is pretty much just what the pre show articles in the Herald, Globe and the Phoenix said it was going to be, a jumbled mess.

Larry Stark, Will Stackman and Terry Byrne have weighed in already. The Globe should be interesting.

An entry on On the Download on the Phoenix webpage pointed out that Amanda Palmer, lead singer of the Dresden Dolls, had left a message on a forum basically saying that all the pre-show hype was just to sell more tickets. However, that entry went on to then say all of the points covered in the articles about the tempestuous creative process.

Whereas the articles in the Herald, Globe and Phoenix wanted very badly to place the problem at the feet of "Artistic Ideologies Clashing," it really sounds to me that it was the process that was flawed.

This quote from Terry Byrne pretty much sums it up:

The piece is such a patchwork it’s hard to imagine any of the creators - which include Dolls songwriter Amanda Palmer, playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman, Stern, Christine Jones, Anthony Martignetti (a writer and psychotherapist) and the cast of “The Onion Cellar” - had a meeting to discuss the collaboration before they were in the midst of rehearsals.

UPDATE: Louise Kennedy of the Globe puts the usual Globe gloss on the proceedings, but pretty much confirms the disaster.

Both at "Wings of Desire" and at this show, I overheard people saying, "That's the best thing I've seen in a long time." I also saw people scurrying out, shaking their heads in confusion and annoyance. Which camp you land in on a given night may depend as much on your own predilections and emotions as on the work itself. This time, I found myself firmly in both camps.


The ART reigns in the publicity department. To their credit they took to the press and explained what was going on very clearly to the public. The result seems to be just what they were saying it would be.

Now I want to be very clear, I support these types of collaborations. It was interesting project and a risk for the ART to reach out and try to create something like this. The problem is that is seems nobody was in charge, which can be the problem when trying to create collaborations between people with big egos.

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